Coaldale aims to strengthen community, prevent crime
The mascot MeLVin is best known for cheering on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms ice hockey team during home games in Allentown.
But next week he’ll be visiting the coal region to help Coaldale Borough strengthen the community and prevent crime.
On Aug. 7, National Night Out is coming to the Coaldale Police station from 6-8 p.m. MeLVin, who will only be there until 6:30 p.m., will be joined by Smokey Bear and members of the police department and fire company.
Volunteers will be selling discounted LED light bulbs so residents can light up their porches to promote safety, with proceeds benefiting the Coaldale Community Crime Watch.
St. Luke’s will be providing health screenings and Coaldale Fire Department will have trucks on display.
The event will also include food — free hot dogs while supplies last, as well as ethnic food items for sale — and entertainment from DJ Chad Gerber.
The event is a joint effort between Coaldale police and the Coaldale Community Crime Watch. MeLVin is sponsored by the Coaldale CHOSE nonprofit.
Crime Watch President David Boyle said the goal of the event is to strengthen the relationship between the police and community, and help boost the crime watch’s presence in Coaldale.
“We’re trying to encourage people to show up for meetings, this event is to encourage people to get to know the police officers, maybe get to know them a little better,” Boyle said.
The Coaldale Community Crime Watch, formed in 2017, has been building its presence in the community through monthly meetings and events like its recent women’s self-defense class. About 20 people took part in the session.
They are also creating name recognition through social media. While they would like people to report suspicious activity directly to the police, the crime watch Facebook page gives them another place they can go with concerns about the borough.
“Even though we’re a small group of volunteers who meet the fourth Thursday of the month, we do have an expanded force on Facebook,” Boyle said.
National Night Out is aimed at enhancing the relationship between neighbors and police. Every year on the first Tuesday in August, millions of people nationwide participate.
For more information about the event and the crime watch, look up “Coaldale Community Crime Watch” on Facebook.